Resource Management

Biologist checking and maintaining the Light-footed clapper rail artificial nesting platform

The Seal Beach NWR is managed in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended and pursuant to the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge Management Plan. This plan was approved by the Commander Officer at NWSSB and the Regional Director of the Service in May 1974.  Management actions are directed primarily at preserving and managing the habitat to support the light-footed clapper rail and the California least tern, as well as preserving habitat used by migrant waterfowl, shorebirds, and other water birds.

Ongoing wildlife and habitat management actions on the refuge, some of which are funded by the U.S. Navy, can be divided into several categories: endangered species management, habitat restoration and maintenance, and general wildlife management.  

Management for California Least Terns at NASA Island

  • Pre-nesting season site preparation, as needed (weed control, substrate enhancement)
  • Eyes on the Colony (predator monitoring program supervised by the Refuge)
  • Weekly nest site monitoring during the nesting season
  • Predator management

Management of Light-footed Clapper Rails

  • High tide counts and spring call counts (to obtain breeding population size estimates)
  • Monitoring during nesting season
  • Maintenance, construction, and deployment of nesting platforms
  • Predator management

Habitat Management

  • Invasive plant species control and removal
  • Native plant propagation in native plant nursery
  • Habitat restoration through plantings and broadcast seeding
  • Trash and debris removal
  • Culvert maintenance and replacement, as needed to maintain tidal flow

Wildlife Management

  • Monthly night mammals surveys
  • Monthly high tide and low tide bird counts
  • Ongoing fish and wildlife research partnerships with other federal, state, and local agencies as well as colleges and universities
  • Injured wildlife rescue and response on refuge lands 

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge.

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations.  

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